Have you ever wanted your family to explore the world of animals, learning about the many different ways they use their tails? Or how patterns on fur, feathers, scales and skin help animals avoid predators? Or why animals make their homes in unusual locations? Or which adaptations help certain animals survive extreme cold or heat?
The L.A. Zoo introduces four programs to help children and their parents discover all this and more, including close-up animal encounters, hands-on activities and intriguing talks focusing on the Zoo’s animal collection, from tiny insects to giant elephants.
TODDLER TOTES, for parents and children ages 24 to 35 months, take place from 9:15-10:30 a.m. Wed., Fri. and Sat., and 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Fri. and Sat., offering educational, interactive adventures to help children discover the ways different animals use parts of their bodies. WIGGLE SQUIGGLE ZOO (Nov. 4, 6 and 7) focuses on the different ways animals use their bodies to move. FASCINATING FEET (Dec. 2, 4 and 5) employs hands-on games and outdoor adventures to show how animals use theirs. EYES ON THE SIDE (Feb. 3, 4 and 5) explores the world of eyes and how animals see the world. THE NOSE KNOWS (March 2, 4 and 5) explains differences and similarities among the noses in the animal world. I’M ALL EARS (March 30, April 1 and 2) teaches facts about how different animals hear. And finally, TERRIFIC TAILS (May 4, 6 and 7) uses Zoo adventures, an animal encounter and stories to illustrate the ways different animals’ tails serve many purposes. Tickets for Toddler Tots classes are $20 per child/adult pair and $18 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.
CRITTERS ‘N’ KIDS, open to parents and children ages 3-4, takes participants on a 90-minute exploration of the Zoo’s animal collections beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wed., Fri. and Sat. GO GO GORILLAS (Nov. 13 and 14) explores how – and why — gorillas build nests. SLITHERING SNAKES (Dec. 9, 11 and 12) provides a chance to learn about and observe the colorful world of snakes. FABULOUS FLAMINGOS (Feb. 10, 12 and 13) includes stories, a take-home project and an adventure in search of the Zoo’s pink, feathery residents. LOVABLE LEMURS (March 9, 11 and 12) offers an opportunity to investigate the Zoo’s lemur collection and gather fun facts about these furry creatures. COOL CATS (April 6, 8 and 9) explores the world of felines, large and small. The series closes with EXCITING ELEPHANTS May 11, 13 and 14) featuring storytelling, activities and a guided tour of the Zoo’s celebrated Elephants of Asia exhibit. Critters ‘n’ Kids classes are $27 per child/adult pair and $24 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.
ZOO EXPLORERS, a new program designed for ages 5 and 6, is a drop-off experience similar to a half-day camp that takes place from 9 a.m.-noon Sundays and teaches youngsters about different biomes around the world, from deserts to mountains to grasslands to rainforests, and the animals that call these unique habitats their homes. MOUNTAIN MADNESS (Nov. 1) helps youngsters discover animals that live in the world’s rocky and forested areas and the amazing adaptations that help them survive life in the mountains. GREAT GRASSLANDS (Jan. 31), introduces animals who call grasslands their home and what it takes to live there. DELVING INTO THE DESERT (Feb. 28) explores some of the planet’s hottest biomes and teaches the adaptations that keep desert residents — from cactus to camels — cool and protected when temperatures climb into the 100s. And TROPICAL TREASURES (May 1) looks at the many layers of tropical rainforests, where more than half the plant and animal species in the world make their homes. Zoo Explorer classes are $35 per child and $30 per child for GLAZA members.
FAMILY CLASSES, another new program, is held from 9:30-11 a.m. Sundays, offering family groups with children of all ages adventures to explore and learn about animals together. WINTER WONDERLAND (Dec. 20) reveals how animals stay warm in the winter and the special adaptations that help them survive the cold. BACKYARD BUDDIES (April 17) provides a chance to discover the variety of wildlife that lives all around us and find out how humans benefit from our wild neighbors, as well as what to do to stay safe while enjoying the wildlife. The program concludes with HOME SWEET HOME (June 12) which illustrates how and why animals make their homes in certain – even unusual – locations, from dens to nests and hollows to treetops. Family Classes are $20 per adult/$15 per child (ages 2 to 12) and $10 per person for GLAZA members; children under two are free.
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. 5333 Zoo Drive, L.A. Free parking is available. For more information and to sign up for classes visit www.lazoo.org/education/childrensclasses or call 323-644-4211.